Three’s Company

Don’t be confused. This post has nothing to do with the once popular television show of the same name. However, it does have everything to do with the number three.

Two weeks ago, I began what I refer to as “3 trips in 3 weeks” (or #3t3w for my Twitter friends). It started with a trip out west to visit my mom, followed by a trip to Oklahoma for the annual Bedlam football game between Oklahoma State and OU. I’m actually completing this post on the aircraft back to North Carolina as we speak and, by the way, Oklahoma State won 44-10. The end of #3t3w is next weekend for a graduation celebration. While the first two trips have been great, and I am sure the third will be as well, I have picked up a few travel tips (3 to be exact) to share which have made my own trips much easier and enjoyable.

    TIP 1–Forget Checking a Bag

Unless you are planning to be traveling for more than 5 days at a given time, you can likely get by with just a carry-on sized bag or combination of large carry-on (check at the gate) and a smaller one (take on the plane). How is this helpful? First, it helps you avoid the need (or want) to overpack. I am notorious for packing more than I’ll actually use on a trip. However, when using just a carry-on, I definitely getting better at identifying essentials. Secondly, utilizing only carry-on luggage will help you avoid paying obnoxious bag fees AND/OR almost guarantee that you will never come close to going over the “50 pound” rule. Third, and finally, a carry-on bag is with you throughout the trip. With the possible exception of waiting in the jetway for a few moments to retrieve your bag (remember, you may have checked it gateside), you can grab your bag and head to your connecting flight or straight to the exit. How about that – 3 tips within one tip.

    TIP 2–Download Apps Dedicated to Travel

Depending on the platform (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc), you should be able to download some type of travel related apps to help keep you organized for your trip. Of course, this tip is useless if you’re still using that Zach Morris phone from the mid 90’s. Keeping with this post, I would recommend 3 in particular. The first app I would recommend is TripIt. It’s not perfect, but this app scans your email (once set-up) for travel related content and then places all necessary information in one convenient location, which is also available offline. The #2 app I’d recommend is actually a tie between Wi-Fi Finder and AroundMe. Wi-Fi Finder does exactly what it says, locating paid and free wi-fi locations. You can also download the compete database for offline use. AroundMe is a great app to highlight the most searched for services in a given area, especially if you have never been to your destination or want to try something different. Finally, the final app I would recommend is the app for whatever the airline you happen to be utilizing for your trip. Some carriers, such as Delta, allow for check-in right from the app. Better yet, there is a digital boarding pass, which can be scanned at security as well as at the gate. I used this app today and found that it worked quite well. Hey Delta, how about that for positive review. You’re welcome.

*break from writing -landing to catch connecting flight*

    TIP 3–Do Your Homework

There is nothing worse than not knowing your way around, especially in a new city. The same can be said for amusement parks, visiting your great aunt Rose’s house, and airports. Case in point: a gentleman a few rows behind me on my connecting flight, who flew into the airport we just left for the first time ever, was extraordinarily grumpy because people could not answer his questions in the terminal. I feel for the staff in the terminal more than the gentleman on my flight because he could have easily done his homework about the airport ahead of time and avoided his frustration. While I am almost certain there is more to the story that I am reporting, it presents valuable advice – do your homework, know your options, and be patient. Hey look, another set of 3.

Well, at least for this trip, this ends my dive into “travel blogging”. Regardless of where your travel plans take you, enjoy the journey and safe travels.

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